What variety of New Zealand avocados are best for your guacamole recipe?

New Zealand’s avocado industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years, and the country’s unique climate and soil conditions make it an ideal location for cultivating this creamy, nutrient-rich fruit. Among the various avocado varieties grown in New Zealand, Hass takes the lead, accounting for a whopping 95% of plantings. Alongside Hass, several other intriguing varieties thrive in New Zealand’s orchards, each offering distinct flavours and characteristics. Discover the unique taste of NZ avocados in your favourite avocado recipes¬†for a local and flavourful twist.

Hass: The Reigning Champion

Hass avocados are the undisputed stars of New Zealand's avocado orchards. Recognizable by their oval shape and thick, pebbly skin, Hass avocados undergo a remarkable transformation as they ripen, with the skin darkening to a deep, inviting hue.

Oval shape. Thick, pebbly skin that darkens when ripe. Available in good supply August to April.

Reed: The Green Giant

In contrast to the darkening skin of Hass, Reed avocados maintain their vibrant green colour even when fully ripe. This large and round variety boasts a thick, pebbly skin and is typically available from February to June. The distinct appearance of Reed avocados adds a visual appeal to avocado displays, providing a refreshing alternative.

Fuerte: The Pear-shaped Delight

Fuerte avocados showcase a distinctive pear shape and a thin, smooth green skin that lacks the glossy finish seen in some other varieties. Remaining green as the fruit ripens, Fuerte avocados are available from July to October. Their unique shape and flavour profile make them a sought-after choice for those looking to diversify their avocado experience.

Carmen: Twice the Harvest, Twice the Delight

Carmen avocados bring a unique twist to New Zealand’s avocado landscape by producing two sets of fruit. The spring-set Carmen fruit closely resembles the classic Hass variety, with an oval shape and thick, pebbly skin that darkens upon ripening. In contrast, the autumn-set Carmen fruit is larger, rounded, and boasts a smoother skin than its spring counterpart. Both variations contribute to the overall availability of avocados, offering avocado connoisseurs options throughout the year.

Maluma: The Dark and Distinctive Choice

Maluma avocados stand out with their blackening skin upon ripening. Slightly larger than the Hass variety and featuring a more pronounced neck, Maluma avocados present a unique aesthetic and flavour profile. Although not as prevalent as the Hass variety, Maluma avocados offer avocado enthusiasts a distinctive choice to savour.

Which variety will you try in your next avocado dish?

While Hass undeniably reigns supreme in New Zealand’s avocado orchards and international markets, the presence of Reed, Fuerte, Carmen, and Maluma varieties adds a delightful diversity to the avocado experience. As food enthusiasts become more adventurous with their culinary choices, exploring these lesser-known varieties promises a journey of flavours and textures that goes beyond the familiar appeal of the classic Hass avocado. Whether you prefer the creamy allure of Hass or the unique characteristics of Reed, Fuerte, Carmen, or Maluma, New Zealand’s avocado orchards have something to offer for every palate.

Check out our avocado selection, ripening, and  storage tips to best enjoy a nutritious, delicious, and locally grown New Zealand avocado.